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Options in Data Validation: Principles for Checking Analytical Data Quality
Ms. Shawna Kennedy, Staff Chemist
EcoChem, Inc., 801 Second Avenue, Suite 1401, Seattle, Washington 98104

Paper published in the Proceedings of WTQA '97 (13th Annual Waste Testing & Quality Assurance Symposium), pp. 169-172.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Contract Laboratory Program National Functional Guidelines for Organic Data Review and EPA Contract Laboratory Program National Functional Guidelines for Inorganic Data Review (referred to as Functional Guidelines), along with regional modifications, provide guidance for validation of analytical data. However, these documents were written to accompany data analyzed under EPA Contract Laboratory Program Statement of Work methods (CLP SOW). Because analytical projects often use methods other than CLP SOW, data validation in these situations must rely on a combination of principles found in the applicable Functional Guidelines (with regional modifications, if any), the particular method, and professional judgment. In addition, data validation can be performed under different levels of effort, from a limited review of reported results to full review of raw data, transcriptions, and calculations. The scrutiny applied to data depends on several factors including data quality objectives, familiarity with the laboratory's quality, project budget, and time constraints. A focused approach of applying limited and full review to subsets of data, as appropriate, can be an effective solution to meeting the requirements of the data, saving time and money as well as satisfying regulatory requirements.

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